Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD (Xbox One) Review

By Drew Hurley 10.11.2018

Review for Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD on Xbox One

Final Fantasy XV has divided the Final Fantasy fanbase. While some enjoyed the coming of age tale of Noctis and his crew (see one of the Cubed3 reviews here), many rank it as on par with the lacklustre Lightning games. Even those fans, though, have found during replays and retrospect, the game was flawed in so many ways. Remasters have become commonplace in today's gaming market but this, not so much, instead taking a huge 100-hour+ RPG and simplifying it down to one-tenth the size. Can it address the flaws of the original?

Prince Noctis and his retinue of three close friends from his childhood are off on a mission to finally bring peace to a land constantly on the brink of war. He has been betrothed to a lady from his past and the marriage is planned to finally end hostility between the kingdom of Noctis' father, Lucis, and the evil Empire. The wedding is a sham, though, and the Empire uses the opportunity to slaughter Noctis' father and claim the city. The story is something of a coming of age tale as these four friends trek across the world of Eos, facing numerous challenges along the way, in a quest to overthrow the empire, avenge the royal family, and just save the world.

That story is all here; at least, an abridged version of the core story. The humongous amount of side-quests are greatly reduced, cut down to just a few in each zone. There's an impressive amount of full voice acting throughout, too, although in towns and fields the same snippets get repeated to such a degree it gets rather obnoxious. That core story lasts around 10 hours and once it's complete there's nothing like the original to return to. No new dungeons, no big post-game bosses; it's over - a huge loss for this adaptation. The team could have included something that represents some of the post-game content.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD on Xbox One

It's somewhat understandable that this content is missing since the huge open world that was one of the biggest selling points of the game is long gone. Therefore, the post-game content that was scattered across this world is gone with it. In its place, there are a series of little linear zones for each mission; simplistic little areas, where all that is needed usually is to run from one end to the other to complete. Each often contains a handful of branching paths, which will lead to some extra hidden items along the way for some bonus experience, or some ingredients for Ignis to make food.

The combat in the original game had numerous issues. As dynamic and stylish as it was, there was no real challenge to it, battles could be won with a single button, and it was hard to ever die. Those flaws mostly remain. With the change to a simplified experience, there was an opportunity to re-embrace the turn-based combat that made Final Fantasy so famous in the first place. Instead, it's something of a watered down version of XV's. Mashing a button to attack, hitting a button to warp-strike over to another enemy, a dodge/counter, along with some little QTEs for the rest of the party to use abilities. It's simplistic, but fun, in its own way.

Pocket Edition was originally launched on mobile, and this HD edition gives the whole thing a bit of a graphical upgrade; however, not one that makes it worth playing on the big screen. Even the larger screen shows some of the flaws hidden away on mobile.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD is a fun little accompaniment to the original and certainly a preferential option for those that want to re-experience the original without investing an ungodly amount of time. That being said, the flaws are rather glaring. It's all far too simplified, and the old-school aesthetic would have been greatly complemented by adding in a turn-based, classic Final Fantasy combat system.


Square Enix


Square Enix


Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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